The myth comes from the west coast, but it stands to reason that the best music is made in the most populated areas.
Somewhere in the middle lie Phish, who, though they do hail from the confrontational, climax-grasping east, call Vermont home. Certain of their songs like “Sparkle,” “N.I.C.U.” and the jazz instrumental keyboardist-courtesy “Cars, Trucks, Buses” do zip from front to end with urgency and appeal, as contrasted with western acts like Jefferson Airplane and String Cheese Incident who seem to get into the middle of a song and the DO have time to sit and spin.
Apropos of the neverending (literally) “Cheese,” this is the world of relix.com, the ubiquitous “jam genre,” that has grabbed Ween by the shoulder and nabbed them into their world, maybe while they were too busy staring at a girl named “Sarah,” or “Nicole,” or “Nan,” or the “Voodoo Lady,” or the “Baby Bitch,” or like the other “baby bitch,” or something, someone, along those lines.
Have Ween voiced complaint about being lumped in with so many inferior musical acts? Not that these senses have recorded. And trust me, Ween aren’t adverse to sociological adversity, just see Dean Ween’s (I think it was Dean) rant against the Olive Garden, complete with cuss words, all true to form, red-blooded Italian just hating fast food.
And now, right when the New Hope, Pennsylvania playboys have seemingly climbed their last musical sin wagon, passing forth the blase electronica La Cucaracha as their last effort, forth emerge los Moistboyz.
And here’s where I have a bone to pick with the association of Ween with things like week-long love-ins, pitchouli and general non-misanthropic behavior as a rule, because in the Moistboyz, circa 2013, the true new indie rock via the courage to riff out, Dean Ween is still singing from the metaphysical dregs of a sh**hole town, by way of “Paperboy,” the riffy-spiffy tale of a homicidal low-wage worker. I doubt this dude is especially in the mood for hanging out in a bongo circle and hitting a bong, sharing saliva with trust fund kids.
Fittingly, Los Angeles’ own middle-finger-to-the-air Nick Oliveri joins in Moistboyz semi-fresh off being dispatched from Queens of the Stone Age for being too crazy.
Why is it that the flaccid world of neverending, anticlimactic solos takes such hubristic ownership of such an all-American original of indie rock? Sure, Phish covered “Roses are Free” from Chocolate and Cheese PRETTY well, but it still pales in comparison with the Ween version, their guitarist even bends the strings better and everything. And Ween just grasp art by way of lyrics better than any jam band: juxtaposing catastrophic heartbreak and idealistic American Dream imagery with seamlessness (“Cut a slab of melon and pretend that you still love me… Get in your car and cruise the land of the brave and free”), the devil-may-care tone of voice selling the whole thing with pop appeal as an instant classic. Just so you know, jam bands, this is what it’s like to feel poignant inspiration.